Sharing PowerShell (Updated)

One thing I’ve always been impressed about with PowerShell is the vibrant community. In this post, I will outline several ways to get involved in the PowerShell community, starting with some really easy ones.

Starting Small
You don’t have to be an expert to be part of the community, in fact if you’re reading this, you are part of the community. I imagine that a majority of the people who use PowerShell are consumers only, that is that they read the content that is produced and use it for their benefit. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you find yourself at this place, there are some easy ways to give back.

Comment on blog posts that you like or find useful
This one is pretty easy. You are googling solutions and invariably find a post that you find useful. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to comment something like “this really helped me” or “I like how you set up the parameters for this”. As a blogger I can tell you that these kind of comments are worth a lot to me. Little words of encouragement help keep the content coming. Similarly, if you find an answer on stackoverflow that is useful, vote it up. No exertion required.

Comment on blog posts that you don’t understand
This one takes a little more guts, but it’s important for you and for the community. First, if you don’t understand a post (and are trying to), it’s possible that there was a mistake in the post. Or, it could be that there was an assumption on your part (or the blogger’s) that needs to be cleared up. Either way, getting the discussion out in the open addresses your immediate need as well as making it easier for those who come after you and read the content later.

Comment on blog posts that you disagree with
If you disagree with a post, and have a strong opinion, comments are a good place to let the author know that there might be a better way or that the solution given isn’t correct. It could be that there’s a slight difference in expectations or that priorities are different, but again getting a discussion going will help clarify the issues and make it smoother for someone else who finds the content later.

Share your code
This one is a little scarier, but there are levels to how you share things. First, it’s drop-dead simple to put things out on github. Even if you don’t announce that you put something there, you can still put in issues and use git to keep your code safe. You are using source control, right?

If you’ve put code out on github and feel like it’s useful, blog about it. Blogging is cheap. I use nosupportlinuxhosting for $1 per month, and cloudflare for free SSL. WordPress is pretty easy, so what’s holding you back?

Announce your code
If you have a code repository or blog post you want to share, announce it. I’ve used Twitter, Google+, and Reddit and have gotten good responses from all three. Again, it doesn’t take much effort and announcing the code exists isn’t the same as saying it’s bug-free. Maybe you announce that you have a beta and you’re looking for people to test? What about that you’re thinking about starting a (specific) project and wonder if anyone has ideas about how to structure the API?

Publish your code
Once you have your code the way you like it, publish it on the PowerShell Gallery. The instructions and requirements can be found here. By publishing in this gallery, others can find your code from within PowerShell (5.0) using Find-Module and Install-Module.

No matter what level of PowerShell mastery you’re at, you can take your game to the next level.

What are you waiting for?

Let me know what you think in the comments!


P.S.  I realized after posting this that I didn’t mention an obvious way to get involved.  There are tons of open source projects involving PowerShell that can always use help.  Even if you don’t think you’re ready to contribute code, you might consider working on documentation.